German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s flight to India was delayed for about two hours when Iran’s government refused the plane permission to fly over the country, officials said.

German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Iran’s decision forced Ms. Merkel’s plane to circle over Turkey for about two hours Tuesday en route to her official visit to New Delhi. He called it a violation of normal diplomatic privilege that Merkel had never experienced before.

In remarks confirmed by his office, Mr. Seibert said through his Twitter account that the chancellor arrived in New Delhi about two hours late because of Iran’s decision.

The government press office said “neither the chancellor nor the pilots” had experienced such a problem before.

The flight marked Ms. Merkel’s first official trip aboard her newly revamped government Airbus A340 Konrad Adenauer, Germany’s equivalent to America’s Air Force One.


India, Germany differ on UNSC expansionMay 31, 2011